|Featured Band (5): Brother Aiming Big, Discovers Oasis|
|Written by DJ Space|
|Wednesday, 24 November 2010 23:00|
In his poem "Slough," John Betjeman damned the town with the opening lines, "Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough! It isn't fit for humans now..." Nevertheless, there is a strong possibility that the next big thing in "Gritpop" will come from this unfashionable English town. "Brother are four boys from Slough who... are basically displaced Mancunians," Paul Lester wrote for the Guardian. The band has already been asked to support Liam Gallagher's Beady Eye on its 2011 arena tour and to be involved in his Pretty Green clothing label. It's the return of Gritpop with plenty of unashamed coolkid swagger from Brother.
BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe has tipped them. "So that Zane Lowe has been playing Darling Buds Of May on Radio 1, and subsequently is putting Slough on the map," Brother writes on its website acidlove.net. "I always knew he had good taste." Zane Lowe said, “If Britpop is going to make a revival, then Brother are the band to start it."
On music website Last.fm the band is simply listed as, "Brother, a new four piece from Slough, UK."
The opening sequence of The Office, the 2001 BBC British television comedy created, written, and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, was filmed in the center of Slough, and features the same train and bus station outside of which Brother chose to set up its amplifiers and equipment for the filming of "Brother - An Introduction," a video the band has since posted on its website.
The line-up consists of: Leonard Newell (vocals and guitar), Josh Ward (bass), Samuel Jackson (guitar), and Frank Colucci (drums).
Bassist Ward's hometown is Portsmouth, and he only moved to Slough after meeting the rest of Brother. Colucci is a session drummer and tutor.
As the band tuned its instruments next to the taxi stands, the voice of one band member announced that the band was going to "play some songs to the people of Slough."
"I hope they like it," he continued. Actually I don't care if they like it, we'll do it anyway."
"I tell you, one year from today," he added. "We'll come back and there will be 10,000 people right here the same spot... I hope."
The video can be viewed here .
"IT HAS been a long time since there was so much hype about a rock 'n' roll band," British tabloid The Sun wrote earlier this month.
"Rock'n'roll doesn't have to be all about the shock of the new," Paul Lester wrote for the Guardian. "You'll hate Brother if you believe that rock doesn't count unless it involves new sounds and sensations, but you'll love them if you accept that you can experience something "old" and it can feel like the first time, especially if you've just necked a bunch of pharmaceuticals and a load of beer."
"They call what they do 'gritpop', which is corny but neat. It's the rougher, rawer end of Britpop revisited."
Slough is home to the Slough Trading Estate, which, coupled with extensive transport links, makes it an important business centre in South East England. Mars Bars are made there, Thunderbirds was filmed there, and The Beatles began its British tour there in 1963.
"We worked at these jobs," a band member said in the video introduction after the band failed in an earlier attempt to play at the trading estate. "I worked down the road in an office down there that was horrible. We can't do that any more, we play music."
Brother played its debut London show in October at the Flowerpot in Kentish Town, at which vocalist Newell said, “If anyone here doesn’t want to see the future of music, leave now.”
“We always expected a big reaction,” Newell told NME. “The most surprising thing to us is that all this hasn’t happened sooner.”
As a teenager, Newell played his first gig in a Slough Tandoori - his band was paid in curry.
Brother's first single "Darling Buds of May" (named after the 90's TV drama based on the novels written by H.E. Bates about the Larkin family) has been produced by Stephen Street, best known for his work with The Smiths and Blur, as will the debut album.
Listen to "Darling Buds of May" here or on the band's website. As the lyrics say, "It is what it is."
“We’re sick of all these American bands,” Newell continued. “The Drums can do one. As can all those bands with beards. It’s time for a proper band with some bollocks. Hopefully other bands will follow us.”
“We’re already polarising opinion massively,” he added. “People might think we’re arrogant, but it’s just belief. We know how amazing we are. And soon everyone else will.”
Brother has published a "manifesto" on its website:
"We're really unique and interesting, seriously!
As Paul Lester told Guardian readers, "If you squint at their promotional photos, you could be looking at the cast of Oasis: The Movie."
There's even a "swagger" to the band's music. The fact that the band's all-time hero is Morrissey rather than either of the Gallagher brothers isn't that apparent.
"Time Machine" is a free download to anyone who registers an interest in the band. Listen to "Time Machine" here or on the band's website.
After being courted by record labels, the band has signed with American label Geffen Records (part of Universal), which had early success with John Lennon and his number-one album Double Fantasy in 1980. Many of Brother's tracks and videos have been removed from its website as the band prepares for the next stage of its career.
According to the band's website, there is also a new limited edition twelve page black and white broadsheet coming soon, "inspired by Brother."
Listen to "New Year's Day" here.
"We know Britpop is a dirty word. We don’t care,” Brother told NME. “We want to headline Glastonbury. And we will.”
Brother, aiming big.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 25 November 2010 15:17|